Coping tips

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Top ‘things to remember’ from those who have been through it

  • It’s not your fault your sister or brother is sick.

  • Feel what you need to feel. If you want to cry, cry. If you want to scream, scream.

  • You can’t control what will happen. Try to focus on the present and take every day as it comes.

  • It is not your responsibility to be perfect all the time. You can’t make up for what your sister or brother can’t do.

  • Avoid the ‘coulda, woulda, shouldas’. It doesn’t help to dwell on the things you could have done differently.

  • There ARE people out there who understand what you’re going through. You can find some in the Canteen Community.


Things you can try:

  • Talk to someone. Expressing how you are feeling is better than bottling it all up.

  • Get all the info you can, so you know what’s happening to your sister or brother & what to expect & feel more in control.

  • Take a break. Go out with your friends, laugh and forget about things for a while.

  • Whenever possible, keep doing the things you love doing – playing sport, hanging out with friends, listening to music.

  • Get organised, especially if you have taken on extra roles. Things like a weekly planner and a to-do list can really make things more manageable.

  • Offload some of the things that you have to do – ask for help. This can be really hard but is important. See Getting help & support.

  • Write stuff down. Write a journal, a blog, letters, songs or poems. Keep them to yourself, or share them with other young people in the Canteen Community.

  • Exercise. Go for a walk or a run, or to a yoga class. Meet some mates and kick the footy around. Exercise can release ‘feel good’ hormones in your body.

  • Take up a new hobby or learn something new so you have something to focus on other than cancer.

  • Find a ‘safe’ place – somewhere you can escape to when it’s crazy at home, like a friend’s or neighbour’s place.

  • Meditate. Try to focus only on your breath for about 15 minutes.

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